DENVER (CBS4) – Top leadership at the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission publicly apologized for an inappropriate email sent by staff members. The apology comes after a CBS4 report about the email, that referred to oil and gas companies by names like “Snake Oil Incorporated,” “Bad Oil and Gas,” “Acme Company” and “The Lorax.”

(credit: CBS)

The commission says staff members were testing a new e-filing system and accidentally sent the email to hundreds of oil and gas employees across the state.

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Rep. Ken Buck, who represents oil and gas rich Weld County, says the incident reflects bias within the agency, even as it is overhauling regulations for the industry.

“I think the governor should order heads to roll, frankly. I think that there are so many hardworking people some of whom have lost their jobs, some of whom are still in the oil and gas fields working hard in a really difficult situation,” Buck said.

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But the Director of the Commission, Julie Murphy, insists the email does not reflect the commission’s values.

“We apologize for the conduct as it is not who we are as an agency, as individuals or as an organization. It is not consistent with how we strive to carry out our daily mission to regulate oil and gas operations in a fair, open and transparent manner.”

Gov. Jared Polis is also weighing in on the email. He had a stronger message: “That’s unacceptable. It’s outrageous. No state agency or worker should ever use that kind of offensive language.”

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“We are professionals regardless of what anybody’s personal opinion is of the work they do or any particular industry. We really have a responsibility to be civil and to be fair in administering that. I know the commissioners that I appointed feel the same way. I’m confident they’ll make sure the cultural tone is fixed and, that if there are any issues with a particular employee, that they will be disciplined to the fullest extent allowed.”

Shaun Boyd